Teenagers and histrionic personality disorderIt’s essential to remember that many teens can be seen exhibiting behaviors that are relatively similar to those seen in histrionic personality disorder. Teens are flooded with hormones that can make them feel things more intensely. This can also lead to teens facing extreme highs and lows. What is also worth noting is that histrionic personality disorder is known to develop during the teen years or early adulthood. This factor can make it a bit more of a challenge to determine whether you’re seeing normal emotions and reactions from your teen or you see the signs of histrionic personality disorder.
Understanding histrionic personality disorderA histrionic personality disorder is often referred to as one of the dramatic personality disorders. It falls into the same category as antisocial, narcissistic, and borderline personality disorders. More often diagnosed in women than in men, this disorder is rarely correctly identified and diagnosed. Teens and adults who have this disorder often lack a sense of self-worth. They rely on getting approval from other people around them. If they’re not getting this approval and attention, they may feel depressed, unappreciated, and lack a sense of self. They may take unreasonable, dramatic, inappropriate, and excessive steps to get the attention that they believe they need.
Recognizing the signs of histrionic personality disorderFor a teen to be diagnosed as having a histrionic personality disorder, they will need to be seen exhibiting five or more symptoms for an extended period of time. Some of these symptoms could include the following.
- They are quickly shifting between emotional states.
- Constantly looking for approval or reassurance from others, often inappropriate adults.
- Displaying signs of self-centeredness.
- Being uncomfortable when unable to be the center of attention.
- Extremely inappropriate sexual behavior or appearance.
- They are obsessed with how they look and often use their looks to get attention.
- Exaggerated emotional outbursts with excessive dramatic responses to situations.
- Beliefs that relationships are more intense and intimate.
- Quickly impacted by the things other people say.
- Impulsive decision-making.
- Acting without thinking.
- A highly distorted self-image.
- Overly sensitive to any type of criticism.
- Easily losing interest in routines or structure.
- Refusal to be accountable often blames the failure on others.
- Often starting with drama and chaos.
- Acting like the victim when situations escalate.
Treating teens with histrionic personality disorderAs with many mental health concerns, those who struggle with this personality disorder may not seek treatment until it has started to take a significant toll on their lives. It’s often not until volatile behaviors and depression become a concern that teens are driven to seek out help. Getting your teen the correct type of help is an essential part of helping him to learn how to handle this personality disorder better. Some options to use include the following.
- Therapy. Individual therapy and group therapy can be beneficial for struggling teens.
- Medication options. Not the right choice for every teen, some medications can help teens work through their struggles.